It’s getting colder outside, so this is really the season of the one pot meal. I’m talkin’ soup, goulash, stew, spaghetti, and of course…CHILI!! I freaking LOVE chili. For years, I’ve been experimenting with different recipes, but my all time favorite is my chicken chili recipe. I came up with this one because I believe turkey chili is just wrong, and I was dating a guy at the time who didn’t eat pork or beef. You’ll soon learn that I’m not at all a fan of substituting non pork/beef products for the goodness that is pig and cow, unless it actually does work better. So, out of a deep love for a man and a wicked hankerin’ for chili, this recipe was born.
So, it was Cinco de Mayo, and being an avid holiday observer (no matter how obscure), I set out to the grocery store in search of the makings of a mexican (american) feast. I got as far as throwing two packets of Hot n’ Spicy taco mix and margarita mix in my cart before I lost all motivation to set up a taco bar. So, as I often do when looking for meal inspiration, I headed for the meat section to see what was on sale. Chicken breast was on sale, so I threw it in the cart. Then I thought…mmmm…chili….
As mentioned above, I’d been wanting chili, but refused to substitute ground turkey for ground beef…but chicken chili? Well, that’s just a little piece of heaven….and SUPER pretty. You can, as always, add your own spin on this, but like I always say, if it doesn’t turn out right, you didn’t get it from me.
I made this for my dad a few weeks back and when he was telling my grandmother how awesome it was he said “Bookie (that’s me) made a chicken something that’s outta sight (Daddy thinks he’s Shaft)…she’s calling it chili, but I’m not sure it’s really chili.” The thing that makes this chili are the beans, the cumin, and the…chili powder. It’s not hard people, I like to call things what they are, not what we want them to be. I don’t want to see any more white bisques, or chowders with no potatoes, or pies with no crust. I’m sure you’ve made something awesome there…let’s come up with a name for it and stop confusing people.
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
6 roma tomatoes, diced
1 large onion, diced
2 bell peppers, diced
1 can whole kernel corn (you can shuck and shave your own corn if you like)
1 can cannelini beans (these are the small white beans)
1 can black beans
3 gloves of garlic, minced
4 jalepeno peppers, minced
1 packet Old El Paso Hot Taco seasoning
Salt and Pepper to taste
To start, you need a nice sized pot with a top and a heavy bottom. A pot with a thin bottom is going to require a ridiculous amount of stirring to keep things from sticking. Coat the pot with vegetable oil and add your chicken. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, and the taco seasoning (you don’t have to do too much here, maybe a couple tablespoons of each because you can always add more later). Mix it together very well, and cover, stirring occasionally until the chicken is fully cooked. While you’re waiting for the chicken to cook, chop up your onion, peppers (green and jalepeno), and mince the garlic. As you stir your chicken, you’ll notice that a broth is developing, this is good because we aren’t adding any water to it. After every stirring and addition, COVER THE POT…the condensation, and the juices springing from all of the ingredients will make an awesome broth, trust me.
Once the chicken has cooked, add your vegetables, including the garlic, not the tomotoes (I still think they’re fruit). Stir the mixture together and cover. In a collander, pour the contents of the corn, white, and black bean cans. Rinse them well, until the water runs clear, and set aside to drain. While they’re draining, dice your tomatoes, and add them to the pot along with the corn and beans…COVER THE POT.
Let the juices begin to mingle together in glorious harmony. Once it starts to look like this…
…taste it. If it just tastes like spicy chicken soup…add more cumin and chili powder. If it’s already spicy enough, only add more cumin. Be careful not to over salt it, but add more if necessary. Stir it up, once you like how it tastes…COVER THE POT!
The color will change slightly by the time you’re ready to serve…
It should take about thirty minutes from the time you add your last ingredients for the chili to be ready. Keep in mind that you can decrease or increase the amount of jalepeno peppers according to your spice preference. I don’t really recommend using a mild taco seasoning, but if you really can’t stand the heat, it shouldn’t be too bad. Here comes the fun part…I encourage you to go completely crazy with your toppings. You can add onions, jalepenos, sour cream, cheese, tortilla chips, whatever you like. Have fun and enjoy! This recipe also freezes VERY well.